114: Luciana Souza, ‘Morrer de Amor’

‘Morrer de Amor’ as sung by Luciana Souza – the lyrics of this song are in a language I don’t understand, and I know almost nothing about its background. But the rendition is of such utter beauty and unspeakable perfection that its emotional eloquence transcends explication. I’m just going to turn off my analytical brain, close my verbose mouth, and hope that you’ll be as moved by it as I am.

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225: Brad Mehldau, ‘The Falcon Will Fly Again’/Luis Bonfa, ‘Manha de Carnaval’

A great contemporary artist inspired by an iconic original. Lilting, uplifting, in π/4.

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075: João Gilberto, ‘Chega De Saudade’ (Jobim)

RIP João Gilberto.
‘Saudade’ is more than just a word; it’s a mindset.
Here’s the song that started it all.

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138: Eliane Elias, ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’

I can’t think of a single reason why Brazilian/American jazz/bossanova pianist/singer Eliane Elias isn’t a household name – she is a serious musician, outstandingly talented, commercially appealing, and uncommonly pleasing to look at.

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099: Luciana Souza, ‘Baião à Tempo’ (“An Answer to Your Silence”)

I get that not everyone needs to go hacking through impregnable jazz jungles or crawling across atonal minimalist deserts or getting lost in endless Nordic a cappella virgin forests. But believe me, Luciana Souza’s “An Answer to Your Silence” is vocal jazz of singular, innovative genius – groundbreaking, underappreciated, and regretfully unknown. It is THE most interesting CD I’ve heard in the last decade.

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022: Roberta Sá and Chico Buarque, ‘Mambembe’

So many readers enjoyed last week’s post about the chemistry between Vilray (a 5) and Rachael Price (a 17) that I’m sharing again with you my favorite May-December clip.
A man and a woman and the electricity between them.
Ah, Brasil…

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108: Michael McDonald/Luciana Souza, ‘I Can Let Go Now’

Here’s another pair of sublime/shlock treatments of a heartwrenching/heartburning ballad. I’m far too snobbish to admit that I swoon over both –’I Can Let Go Now’ by both its writer, light-heavyweight Michael McDonald, and by the regal Luciana Souza.

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100: Luciana Souza, ‘Chorinho Pra Ele’ (“Brazilian Duos”)

Luciana Souza recorded two albums of traditional Brazilian popular music accompanied by a single guitar. She’s consummate artist, relying neither on gimmicks nor on sex appeal, but on a refined, passionate, soulful aesthetic. Listen to her singing ‘Chorinho Pra Ele’. If you aren’t charmed out of your chair, you’re either dead or shouldn’t be listening to music.

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